You could be a Pirates fan, a Rangers fan, a Royals fan, an Orioles fan, a Nationals fan (if there is such a thing) or a Mariners fan and have no hope of contending in the next decade.
You could be a Braves fan, an A's fan, a Giants fan, or a Padres fan and see that your team was once a power and is now in a rebuilding cycle that could take several seasons.
You could be a Cubs fan and not have won anything in the last century. You could be a Phillies fan and be a fan of the most losingest franchise in all of sports. You could be a Yankees fan and finally realize that money can't solve all your problems. You could be a Cardinals fan and realize that having the best player in baseball doesn't guarantee you a spot in the playoffs every year.
You could be an Astros fan and realize that Miguel Tejada isn't the player he used to be. You could be a Blue Jays fan and realize no matter how hard you try Halladay can't pitch every day.
Each team's fan base has its pros and cons. It just seems that the Mets fan base has had more to suffer through and in more dramatic fashion that any other team of late. And that might be true, but if you're a Mets Lifer this is nothing new.
Highs and lows are our specialty. We've had the high of 1986 only to be followed by the demise of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry in the years to follow. We had the hope of Generation K followed by the reality that they just weren't that good. We signed big name players like Frank Viola, Brett Saberhagen, Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Mo Vaugh, Jeromy Burnitz, and the list goes on, only to see that they were not the players they once were.
We had an MVP season from Kevin McReynolds only to find out that he could really care less. We traded Lenny Dysktra for Juan Samuel only to have Dykstra become the NL MVP.
The list continues, but we remained faithful. Isn't that what a Mets Lifer is all about?
I bet you can name at least 5 people that started calling themselves "Yankee fans" around 1996. I can think of at least ten. And I bet you know at least 2 or 3 people who have become Red Sox fans starting around 2004. Now how many Mets fans do you know that are fair weather fans? That's right, you don't know any. Why? Because to be a Mets Lifer, you're in this for the long haul. A losing season, an utter and total collapse followed by another collapse isn't enough to sway your loyalty. You're invested in this team through thick and thin.
Sure we'll take our lumps this week and for the next few weeks. The word "collapse" will be used again and again as we approach the new season, but in a few months something is going to happen. You're going to be back. You'll be looking at tickets to Citi Field. You'll be playing general manager. You'll start adjusting the lineup card. You'll start yelling at Mike Francesa when he talks about trading Jose Reyes.
It's a vicious cycle folks. I speak from experience. It's what a Mets Lifer does. It's a badge of honor some days, it's a burden on other days. But it's what we are so come to grips with it.